Mercer's Poems
My Unfinished Epic

Above the mid-line there arose a face that oh so brightly glows.
The flame-maned chimaera awoke with yawn to summon in a welcome dawn.
His scorching breath gave life and birth to all who dwelled upon the Earth.
And there did I, my sweaty mass, did tread on shell and broken glass.
For this a world where walls have ears to play upon our many fears
and thanks to manipulative knavery was I a pawn sold to slavery.
The souls of this poor world did tread in mortal fear and truest dread
but never heard whimpers, cries or boos, for fear of that which they might lose.

I breathed a sigh and lit a smoke, as I, a mess, repugnant, broke
anointed my eyes with treasured beams; the only commodity now free, it seems.
And measured, tarry coughs alight from lungs well rested through the night,
now pleasured fumes I light with match, as I grumble, yawn and scratch.
New hours now, had I to savour in this enforced social labour
Though out of task, not unemployed, for toil one could not avoid.
For surely never miss a trick, do those engaged in Politick
Holy magicks lost through kind and seizure were engaged again in mind and media
and this, their tool of prostitution, thus written in Man’s constitution.
My days were thus, pure sedentary as expected of peasantry
I’d wake, I’d wash, I’d don apparel. I’d eat from scrapings of the barrel
and then with my ablutions passed, I would then succumb at last
to machinations beyond my clutch within that dark, oppressive hutch.
“The Labour-Sphere” was the destination for my idle procrastination
here my mind was much engaged, as tubing sapped and neurons raged
in awed machine of techno-tyranny, cables and whirring conspired to deliver me
To a far off distant land where mind was worked not arm or hand
to carve out ores with drills and bores and, bound within the machine’s laws
one could not object; for those who tried upon great crosses were bound and died.
Of one divine this was no play, but of oppressors clear as day
yet, shrouded in their mystic cloak this world they tightened, gripped and choked.
And in these mists of apathy communicate with telepathy
with other souls as poor as I, who live and breathe to only die,
and in their thoughts I found a truth; a hate for all of those aloof
elite who marred our days with black to multiply their sacred stack.
“Alas, I fear my work is done” I heard from mind of weary one.
“Continue not upon these rails, my heart it bleeds, my body fails.
I only wished to further, better – Please upon my corpse a letter
- My address for its collection I leave unto your recollection
but make haste, and there retrieve a manifest which I believe
and pass it to the one I covet, my regret free, dear, beloved.”
This sad soul his anima fading was to my eyes an image graven
trapped within pursuit of joy, what once a man now dying boy.
His mind-words rapt with sniffled tears, his body would never get the leers
of passers by, for Labour-Sphere’s ingest – Hence my haste in his request.
Oh this tarred and savage globe, what of huts of mud, adobe.
And what of man as pinnacle beast, all of Eden his bounteous feast.
Now reduced to harsh encumbers, naught but lists and data-numbers.
His last wish, I must accept it but I feared were intercepted
were our mindful conversations, for this world has machinations
beyond the physical realms of eye, beyond what we see when we die
our masters had control of faces, places and spaces between spaces.
And minds-eye speeches were not free from their oppressive tyranny
and so upon my work’s demise I must make quick to close the eyes
of this sorry hero, now a beggar – I must be quick, retrieve the letter
for in this world all love is taxed and goes on only behind backs
for under one ruler, every nation preached control of population.
In central square there could be found a thick and sooty ashen ground
a murky, sinful, callous hearth thick with dust from infant’s hearts
where babes, whose cries went out in earnest were sacrificed within the furnace
and parents stood aghast and weeping while the reaper kept on reaping.
The fires, dim and sorry roared, around the clock, across the board
For this a world of only few, where those who won’t rule those who do.
I knew  of this man’s last abode, his living coffin down the road
but I could not make my trip until this noose around me slipped
and time was called on this, my ‘work’ – A silly term I thought and smirked.
For these labour-spheres know nothing of man’s capacity for roughing.
Working our minds our hands grew weaker, our bodies tattered, our futures bleaker.
The technological gift, a gift so major was supposed to be our saviour
Resting weary men it fabled, giving legs to the disabled
now it only terror wrought, by global corporations bought
and so began the creation of mystery by erasing mankind’s history
and, now seen as brain not brawn we could no longer tend the lawn
nor raise a fist in anger and ire, nor crush in hands ideas dire.
They had committed the greatest coup, of changing one man’s ‘think’ to ‘do’.
And with that advent here we rest, in spheres of slavery at the behest
of one world government ruled so brash by our Mistress, lazy cash
And now, so far away my mind controlled by twisted paradigms
and algorithmic rhythms beating forward on a printed circuit board,
the electrical beats from my cranium moving limbs of alloyed titanium
in far off fields where dust can’t settle – all for worthless precious metal.
And while my iron-limbs scour the rubble, I lay here within this bubble
and dream of bygone pasts and ages, told by outlawed seers and sages
where men were men  - of fist and power. Cometh the Man, Cometh the Hour.
Where food was grown from naught but soil by attention, care and toil
and where men and women lined the streets with giant carded signs
denouncing orders of the wicked – Some say they were called the Pickets.
When Lords in flawed judgement erred, men could simply spread the word
and have him stripped, his name in smears – without the brutal, morbid fears.
Those stories, Oh I listened with glee; of justice, peace and liberty.
Oh what a wonder it would be, to live amongst those men once free.

Chapter 2

It comes to our attention that there seems to be some
disparity amongst our order of business.
I call to witness, witness B – number four two five six three
seven six nine nine nine four
who came to me at approximately eighteen twenty five
on the first of the fifth of our year twenty thirty two.
seven times he has requested, under article thirty seventy two,
from fifteen officials in department nineteen zero six,
to see the order of business number one thousand nine hundred and seventy seven.
Under section eighteen of article two subsection five this was denied.
All in favour.
Sustained, request denied.

I sighed.

Numbers. Numbers. Every step I take counted,
every breath, counted. Everything counted.
Numbers, numbers. I would give away all my position
to see a book with words, not numbers.
Ledgers everywhere. Accounts, taxes, equations,
everywhere. Numbers.
The only thing I truly see is division.
I am divided in my thoughts. I have to be careful.
If people knew of my distain I could be tried.
Sent into the Labour Spheres with the rest of the peasantry.
This can’t be all there is to everything?
 A rule of numbers?
I am told a man is just another number.
Every subject listed on a database, all of them numbers.
Two seven seven seven four – Deceased.
Who was he? What of his accolades? His achievements?
Is he a man or but a number?
Do these people exist? I see them not.
In my community are only fellows of the Government.
These numbers don’t exist to us.
What of ideas?
All of them catalogued, all them registered. All of them numbers.
Quantity not quality. Everything, numbers.
What of risk? All of it quantified. All of it numbers.
What of value? All numbers?
Does value not have a worth of its own?
Isn’t value sometimes, by its nature unquantifiable?
Statistics, statistics and Lord damned logistics.
All of it quantified.
Number two four six five five seven nine two – Deceased.
Known dissident number seven four eight two.
Cause of death number six seven nine.
Numbers. Who was two four six five five seven nine two?
What did he do? What of his life? His wife?
Had he nothing but numbers?
What is cause of death six seven nine?
Did this man die by numbers? What of events? Occurrences?
Why am I thinking of this?
Could it be that those happenings affected me?
That ‘moving on’ of dissidents on seventh of the eigh…
…They’re just damn numbers!
It was yesterday; it was not a number it was a day.
It was not a document to be quantified and filed away.
It happened. It was my life.
 It was a period of time in my existence.
A community, a peaceful community.
 All of them dissidents.
All of them with numbers.
They were sat around great containers of rusting steel.
Flames licking the air from within.
Beautiful melodies resonated from them.
This is what ‘song’ is?
I hear it from birds but never from Man.
They had no homes or livelihoods.
 Dirty, revolting peasants I am told.
I would usually never be allowed so close as to witness them.
But I had a document needing delivery
 and a power outage had rendered e-delivery impossible.
Urgency meant I got to see them.
 Their figures were those of men,
not binary characters.
 Not figures of number.
They were men.
They were not supposed to be there
 on my arrival, I was told.
But I had left early to be more efficient.
Numbers mean everything.
The police were supposed to move them on before I arrived.
It was what our forces did, I was told.
 They arrived in numbers
and dissipated the numbers of dissidents;
 all of whom had numbers.
They moved them on we were told.
The news at ten (another number) said so.
But what I saw was not shooing away.
What I saw was massacre.
Every one of these human beings savaged by police officers,
unidentifiable by number due to their badges being obscured.
Every one of them, to a number, was beaten.
They were lined up in their numbers against the wall.
Each one was asked to read out their identification number.
And with each number having been read.
They were shot.
I don’t know the number of shots that rang out
 in that neighbourhood that day.
It was hundreds. Maybe thousands.
These people had refused to be part of our work.
Of our world.
We were told everyone supported us;
 that these people loved us.
They loved us,
 but didn’t want to work for us?
Why not?
What of the important numbers?
How many people actually support our work?
 How many are against our government?
How many innocent people have died because of us?
How much do these people have to live on?
How many homes are there for these people?
How many jobs?
How many lives?
What of children?
I saw no children.
How do we keep our numbers up?
How much does it cost to weed out these people like they were nothing?
What price exactly have we put on human life?
On human suffering?

“Mr. Tyler? You appear distressed. Is something troubling you?”
A voice called out to me. A voice called my name, not my number.
Why are we not identified by number?
“Mr. Tyler!?”

“I am sorry sir. I….I just have a headache. I’ll be fine”
I could have made any number of excuses.

“Ten Four – Luckily we shall have an adjournment to our proceedings
Commence adjournment for reason eight.”

Why reason eight?
 Why not just say lunch?
That’s what it was,
it was lunch!
It was a period of time…Not a bloody number.
A headache?
 What a pack of lies.
I had no headache.
I had a heartache.
I had an intense feeling that for every year
I had strained my eyes at monitor screens
I had peddled numbers
I had lived a lie.
I had doubts.
I had thoughts.
I had my mind, though,
I had thought
I had lost it.

Chapter 3

And so the day’s idle endeavour ends, as sure as the tubing and wiring bends
around my frail and fragile carcass, guided by electronic markers
that, at birth, in these brutal nations are placed by sanctioned mutilations.
Every approved child scarred, entombed, after having barely left womb.
But this my place, and now work done I have to hurry. I must run.
I must proceed at rushed rate. I have a note to liberate
And deliver not just to an individual, but to a feeling, pure and liberal.
Love. To love. How does it feel? I know not from behind this shield
of imperial tragedy mean and great. I know not of love. Only hate.
Yet on mere parchment. On flimsy pulped wood rests the feeling of utmost good.
A man’s heart beating not in his body, but on a scrawled sheet, scribbled, shoddy.
Does man not see the power to emote? Does man not see the power in this note?
Each man possesses, in vain, a power much greater than just his brain.
His soul. His emotions. His spirit. Love it, embrace it, revere it!
Rushing, panting, just for pride. My rattling corpse sprints to his side.
And, arriving, sweating, faint of feeling to a man so buckled, kneeling.
“Are you he?” I asked, knowing his reply. “I spoke to your thoughts. I am he. Aye
forgive my slow pace of speech. I see in my mind yonder beach.
A beach of black, with oceans endless deep. A place to take eternal sleep.
But I have a last mission. I have heard your thoughts. Your admissions.
You and I, Sir, are kindred in soul. Will you take my last wish as your goal?”

“Aye, Sir, my honour as my bind. I will undergo the task you ask me in my mind.
Your body though forlornly weak, and past frail, has a power within it that must prevail. “

with that his eyelids did meekly collide and here, on a dirty pavement a free heart died.
No greater tragedy, no great crime has there been than to have man live in this grime.
So I shall, with all my aplomb take this mere paper and use it as bomb
to explode my passions, to awaken my hopes. I will no longer be bound by invisible ropes.
I shall no longer stand on these legs that won’t carry. I’ll no longer be worried and hurried and harried.
It is my energy that moves the cogs of change. Why am I crazy? Why am I strange?
I merely look further than the tip of my nose; and upon that vision a man’s mind grows
and expands to new places of beauty and wonder. No longer a veil of oppression I’m under.
For freedom is not exalted, demanded. In my heart, in my mind freedom is granted.
I am freedom. You are freedom. Say it! Take that impressive idea and pay it
forward a thousand times over and again. Be freedom, and maybe just then
we can move our people forward with glory. We’re more than just numbers we’re ideas and stories.
I will no longer see what they want me to see. I will no longer be what they want me to be.
I will not forget my hopeless fascination with being more than a cog in their machinations.
I will not forget brothers and sisters fallen. I will remember and I want to mourn them.
I will start to feel, like has been denied. I’ll respond to the screams and the tears within eyes.
These are not animals. They’re people I’m freeing. We are more than numbers, we are human beings.
I will no longer shout silently upon deaf ears. I’ll no longer succumb to their treacherous fears.
I am a man. I a man. And as one I will linger, until all my anima from toe-tip to finger
is drained. I give up on being a slave. I’ll live as a free man. Or rest as one in a grave.

And with this drastic realisation, the heaven roared with precipitation
and my dirty, bedraggled hair rustled in the moving air
flicking filthy, soggy drops and beads that fell to Earth like nature’s seeds
the seeds that were to us foreign, for our land was long since barren
and our mouths took nourishment, more through pain and punishment
as our leaders make it said that they control when we break bread
and whence the wheat to make it germinate. Freedom of choice they did exterminate.
But what is choice of types of bread when man has no choice in his head?
The wheels that turned and cogs that churned the capitalist machine had learned
that to control choice is to control life. And this, the cause of all our strife.
We sat and watched as they took hold, cajoled and let their plan unfold.
Before our very eyes we saw a beast the likes not seen before.
It’s multiple-heads a hydra serpent, ever present, always determined
it spread a web that spanned the seas and fed off greed and lust disease.
And still the people asked for more, and more corruption was ignored.
And more they expressed their demon rage, as legislation page by page
removing rights and trapping lives was passed before our very eyes.
And we refused to take power back, fearing coming off our track
and losing what little we had earned, from labour spent and bodies burned.
Resources were plundered by imperial forces and people forgot it was they who caused this.
Because after a long day at work they were tired, no time for politics was required.
Their comfy sofa and their soft old bed were the only thoughts left in work-weary heads.
And so went the hydra, with glee and abandon, with political jackals riding in tandem
and took all they had, and left them with little but sweat and blood and tears and spittle.
How did we let this travesty occur? Our days so busy, our lives were a blur
and we simply hadn’t the time to stop this humanitarian crime.
We were all wrapped up in our own little haze, engrossed in the latest celebrity craze
or busy discussing trivia online to worry about who runs this life of mine.
Watching our TVs and playing our games, thinking it all would just stay the same.
We were too busy looking for foes overseas to see that the real foes were you and me.
Propagandist, corrupt liars of media joined up with the many headed creature
and created a storm of panic and worry. A pox. It was all lies and slurry.
While we were busy watching our backs for non-existent terror attacks
the thieves were in front of us, clear as day. Pointing and chuckling and laughing away.
But now I can see it. Now I am free. Now I can solemnly state and decree
that I trust in no concept besides that of self. I trust not in fear and I trust not in wealth.
I will not partake of the two minutes hate. I will not suffer at the hands of the state.
I am a man. And as man I shall stand. Whether alone or with millions holding my hand.
I’ll take on the Hydra, I’ll cut off his heads. I’ll leave it blood seeping, weeping and dead.
And instead of a new monster taking it’s place. I’ll plant a flower, to grow at it’s pace
and  to blossom when ready and welcome the sun when all this apocalypse is left undone.
And people will see that from all this dust, from all this grime smelling of must.
From this pollution can grow something sweet. I’ll never surrender. I’ll never retreat.
Because I believe in my insignificance, and I believe in nature’s magnificence.
For I have a smile and yet I have no face. I am everywhere yet I have no place.
I can be called and yet I have no name. I am unique while I am the same.
I am. I am. That alone holds more weight than any imposed fear or hate.
I am. I am. I control my own fate. My hands hold power to destroy but I shall choose to create.

Chapter 4 

The sweats haven’t stopped. Damn this.
It was easier to not think for myself.
Why have I subjected myself to this hell
when I was living in ignorant paradise?
All I used to see were numbers.
Scrolling screens of pointless, meaningless numbers.
Now I see faces. I see children’s smiles.
I see affection. I see beauty. I see love.
I see truth.
Truth is a dangerous thing. Truth is a worry to me.
I had it all. I had a roof over my head.
I had food in my stomach.
I had a job.
Now all I have is worry, pointless worry.
Worry and truth.
Why are my thoughts so fast?
Why do I not stop to think of anything?
It’s because thinking causes worry.
If I don’t distract myself. If I think too much. I shall only worry.
Worry. Oh harsh worry. It hurts.
People say thoughts can’t hurt you. I am in pain.
I am pained by my thoughts and by worry.
All those people. Killed. Murdered. Slaughtered.
How worrying.
What if some within the Government itself questioned their motives?
Would they be murdered?
What if I…
…Murdered. For a thought?
Murdered for an idea?
Oh worry, worry, worry.
This is how it must feel to be one of them.
To be nothing but a worker.
To disbelieve every cause for which you work.
All this worry.
How have they coped?
What strength have they within them
to tolerate such suffering as this?
To suffer all this worry. Worry, worry, worry.
And on top of it, to struggle to live.
To struggle to eat. To struggle to get through.
Day by day. What worry. What worry.
I can’t stop looking out my window.
I can’t stop thinking every ache of this house,
of this property is a rap at the door.
I worry. Oh I worry. What will they do to me for a thought?
It’s just a thought. It is neither right nor wrong, surely?
It’s just a thought.
What thought?
That I’m living a lie. That I am an ever turning part
in a dirty, rotten, rusting machine.
That my life is dictated to me from one day to the next.
What am I working for?
The numbers. Oh the numbers. The worry. Oh the worry.
What is it for?
I work to live. I work to have food. I work to have shelter.
How is that achievement? I do not catch or grow or harvest my food.
I have not put brick and mortar together with my own hands.
How have I achieved!? Oh the worry.
All my work. My work? Oh my work.
It was nothing but the hand of evil
guiding the hand of the ignorant.
But what of the labour sphere?
I helped the people.
No longer would their bones and muscles ache.
Oh but withered. Withered away.
Bodies, all of them withered.
Minds, withered. Souls withered.
Humanity. Withered. Gone.
No man left just beast. Futile beast.
Oh the worry.
The guilt. Oh the guilt.
I must sleep.
I need rest.
But oh how can I sleep?
The worry and guilt.
How can I sleep?
How do those people sleep?
In their squalid dwellings.
Knowing that each new day will bring
only further oppression.
Knowing that each sound they hear will tell of their freedom
when their bodies and minds are in shackles unseen.
Oh the guilt. The worry.
What to do.
I must sleep.
For now I must sleep.
I must rest, and then I can make it right.
I can look at their numbers.
I can look at their files.
I can find the truth.
But the worry.
What if I am caught?
What can they do? Can they really arrest inquisitiveness?
Can they imprison a thought?
What sentence is there for thinking?
How many a year languishing in internment
for merely asking a question?
Oh the worry.
But I must.
The guilt.
The worry will shake my bones until my death.
But the guilt. Oh the guilt would surely kill me.
Oh the guilt.
I shall sleep. I shall rest.
The morrow shall bring my test.
Oh the worry. The guilt.

Chapter 5 

I proceeded with vigour, streets just a blur. Police I passed by with barely a stir.
Remain inconspicuous. Show no sign of inspiration. Walk so as to bring perspiration.
You hold in your hand a message prohibit, an admired yet illegal wonderful exhibit.
A message of love. Oh love sweet divine. His love for his woman now true love of mine.
I love not just one, but am in love with all. If you felt the beauty I did, in love you’d fall.
I saw mankind no longer as toilers, as grubby fingered, scruffy clothed repairers of boilers.
Mankind to I was not class or profession. Mankind to I was rule, not exception.
I love all, and that love to all in equal measure. I see love not as profane but as treasure.
So brisk my walk as I do pass the boarded glass of tradeposts past
where once men freely plied their trade, and goods were sold and sums were paid
now empty shells their purpose void. As much as those men were annoyed
their voices fells on the same ears closed of those who to the surface rose
when us, the true power’s backs were turned. I see it now. The lesson learned.
And with this letter, with my voice I’ll say it so as all rejoice
let’s take this land, this hallowed Earth. This place of our unfortunate birth.
Let’s take this land and make it ours, free from global superpowers.
Free from the twisted number plot of financial institutional rot.
Let’s take this letter as our creed. No more need live, nor die for greed.
For love, love shall light our path and we’ll bask in the aftermath.
And there our world will start anew. A world not for them, nor I. But you.
These streets, a dank oesophagus. A many chambered sarcophagus
where the stench of death and cold suspicion from the dwellings had arisen.
Few there dared to ply a trade, a few had tried but few had stayed.
For independence was discouraged. Undervalued. Undernourished.
The only place where joy could fall was over that accursed wall
that blocked our light, in more ways than one for not only did it block rays of sun
but it shut us out from hope, or better. But not now. Not while I hold this letter.
The wall that shuts out poor from rich denotes the line where evil lich
do suck the Earth and upon her ,guiltless, they do dare to wander
bold as brass and twice as dense, their souls minute, their wealth immense.
But not for long my dearest foes. Not now that my spirit knows.  
Not while my footsteps approach, and brush aside both dirt and roach,
and lead up to a wooden door. Fifty years old, maybe more.
It’s splinters snagged on all who came and hinges crippled around its frame
It’s crooked state of disrepair reflected Earth and Man’s despair.
But as sure as my body was standing there I felt a change within the air.

I rapped, rapped upon that wood, with volume such that neighbourhood
folk could hear and know my presence, and see my smile and feel my pleasance.
“Hello?” I cried fearing I was alone. “Is anyone there? Is anyone home?”
and, a pause. Debilitated. None one home? My mind deflated.
I turned at once on sorrow’s heel knowing not what to think or feel
when, so sudden, my fears relieved. A sight my eyes could scarce believe.
Stood there within the doorway’s crag, was a time long witchlike hag.
It’s shock to I was thus you see. When we’re fed images lustily
we’re told that only perfect skin, and perky breasts and waists so thin,
and buttocks firm, and lips all pouting could result in spring flowers sprouting,
and erupt the love in loins, when it seems, two hearts conjoined
can often mean more to the eye, than that perfect butterfly
that was to us, ideal, paraded and, for us, alas, evaded.
We saw only women such as this. This tired, worn out lust abyss.
But he. The man whom I saw perish, did this ugly beauty cherish.
“Hello? Who are you? Why are you here?” Said this limping, queer old dear
“I come with message clenched in fist. I feared your company I had missed.
A man, with whom too short acquainted, for he sadly buckled and fainted
and before my tearful, sullen eye I saw this tired human die
but, before this eternal woe, he bade me “Take this letter, go
and henceforth take this troubled note, upon my tattered paper wrote
an deliver like a carrier dove to her, my one and only love.”
And thus my standing with that load at the door of your abode.”
Her face, already sagged with years descended further, as did tears
that followed down the wrinkled crags, and meandered around tired bags
that underneath her eye were puffed. A face that said it had seen enough
and knew enough of troubled days that though her mind may well erase
to follow the lines on that face, pale, one could read a sorry tale.
“He’s dead.” She let out with a squeak, as mourning took her voice to speak.
In this world we had grown so weary that, when met with faces teary
we merely used to turn away, worried more with our own day
there was no time of ours for others. We had no time for fathers, mothers.
There was, around our veins pumped naught but icy, cancerous lumps
our lives became a numbing potion – destroying all of our emotion.
But as I stood amongst the rubble, I felt my legs start to wobble
and, as if it was dissembled my bottom lip began to tremble.
This lady, and sadness at her closure made me lose all my composure
and just as jewel drops adorned her cheeks, thus did my eyes start to leak.
“I’m sorry.” Was all I could muster, in this harsh wind, sad and flustered.
What does one say to bring elation in such a mournful situation?
There were no words, no trivial dross that can undo such a loss.
At least that was of my belief. All I could do was comfort grief.
“I am sorry. Please come in. Rest your feet, let’s have a gin
you’ll toast a man his sorry life, with I, all but in ring his wife.”
So I picked up my sombre shoes, so saddened at delivering news
of heartless, cold despairing death and moved them under laboured breath
across the threshold so forlorn and into her humble dwelling, warm.

“Take a seat, please. Over there” She said with heart, and soul and care.
Her tiny room and beaten rug were, to me, a mother’s hug.
The comfort and the homeliness seemed to sap all loneliness
that man could carry on his shoulders. 50 years old, maybe older
was this room and its adornments. Such array of strange old ornaments
and trinkets hanging from its shelves, full of character themselves
as much as had this weary wench. “Here, your thirst this should quench.”
She passed to me a streaky chalice as I sat in her meek palace,
the liquid held within it stank a stench more pungent than was rank.
“It’s gin.” She said and smiled away. “I used to drink it in my day.
It’s very difficult I vow, to actually get a hold of now.
Since they banned it, in their ruse to stop the workers drinking booze. “
So this was alcohol I had, at once an age-old people’s fad.
They used to sup it, I had heard and become mumbled, lost and slurred
and lose their balance, lose their wit and generally act a twit.
I remember thinking, neurons reeling ‘Why would any enjoy that feeling?’.
“Thank you.” Words escaped my lips, before they met cup and I took sips.
I can’t describe what I did savour, for it was surely less a flavour
and more like what I had been yearning. A warming feeling. Almost burning.
The taste was more an aromatic, I was sat amazed and static.
Why would there by any measure be a need to ban such treasure?
“This is wonderful” I said, with giddy feeling in my head
“I’ve had better.” Came the retort “You don’t know the joys of Port!”
The conversation seemed quite cheery but I still sense sombre, dreary
notes within the cool night breeze, and the look on her face show she agrees.
“I am truly sorry for your loss.” My sincerity I hoped came across.
“As a man, he was truly set apart. Such hope had he, such fire in heart
that one day humans, such as we, would walk this Earth true and free.”

“I know his passions, for they’re mine too. Hence he chose me, knowing true
that I would undertake his need. So here his letter. Take it. Read.”
I handed over from my grip the purpose of this errand trip.
The lady stretched her withered digits as I began to stir and fidget
wandering what heartening truths I had delivered on hasty hooves.
She unfolded the crinkled sheet allowing her eyes to finally meet
the last confessions of her beau, what were they? I wished to know.
A gentle smile grew wide at pace upon the ladies once sorry face
as tears of joy began to flow, her once sorry face now all aglow.
My curiosity cracked and creaked and reached a great eruptive peak
as I, with anticipative stance stood jealously in ignorance.
“What does it say?” I asked in wait. I could no longer anticipate.
“It just says “Love” no more, nor less. Nor tale so sweet, or great caress.
Simply. Love. So little yet much. It means more than a final touch.”

Chapter 6

These bloody screens.
My eyes have gazed into them too much.
What of the lives contained within.
What of the people behind the numbers.
I had to know.
So many files, so many people.
All of them with lives, families, hopes, dreams.
Never would they ever achieve them.
Even I, in my heady position.
Even I can never escape.
Even when they chose me from the bunch
picked me for my capacity to learn.
Even I was only nurtured for their purpose.
Only taught to do a job.
What world is this
where a man has to do to live,
rather than live to do.
What could man achieve without boundaries?
What could man achieve without falsified chains?
These people,
known only by number,
these people do nothing but the same.
Each one, every day spent in the labour-sphere.
Wasting away. Minds and bodies wasting away.
Each of them just work for us.
Or, are we the soulless ones?
For subjecting them to such life as this.
I have been an unwilling pawn.
I have been made to commit horrible acts
without even knowing.

We’re all slaves.
All they see us as is money that hasn’t been made yet.
Converting flesh to cash like some unholy butcher.
But we’re more than meat.
We are people.
We are lives.
We are one.
But what can one so small
and useless as I do?
My fist could barely dent their armour
such is their impenetrability.
But I know I cannot continue.
I know I must leave.
I must cleanse my hands of this blood
in whatever filthy streams still flow
outside this accursed cell
that they house me in.

Oh for all the times I wished to be smarter.
All the times I wished to be better.
Had I know that truth was torture
I would have stifled my wishes.
Having been distracted kept me
In spacious, luscious pastures of ignorance.
Now I am but a starving calf
feasting off the bitter cud
and tasting on every chew
nothing but fire and shattered shards.
Cutting, flaying, rending my flesh
from it’s corporeal confines
and spreading it like muck
across the remains of my consciousness.
But now. Oh now I see.
That like horrid, greasy fats
the lie, to our mouths tastes spectacular
but leads to nothing.
Nothing but  shortness of breath
as, one day, overconsumption of the lie
literally, as well as metaphorically
breaks the heart.
Every number.
Every number on this fucking list
is another life, another lie
another to work, another to die.
And for what?
Not so that they may achieve,
not so that they may be partisan
to the great advancement of our races and species.
But so that a chosen few may reap
from the seeds sown by the many.
What harvest of man’s time and labour
becomes when the harvest
scarcely enough to feed a worker’s family
is stolen before their very eyes
and fed to the corpulent?
the few in great need of nothing.
Nothing but pity.
These are not men, these are viral beings.
These over-consumptive slugs
chomping on the lettuce of mankind’s progress
for their own disgusting ends.
For their own advantage.
Is it in man’s nature to be thus?
I must leave.

Chapter 7

I feared that, frail, I would fall ill. The air begat a bitter chill
Her voice bellowed in grievous groans and my feet ambled on icy stones.
But warmed was I from within deep, that would provide for restful sleep
as my soul sung a wordless poem every step until my home.
The wind, though chill, no foe was she, She merely blustered. Every tree,
though skeletal in form, felt not icy death, but living warm
as wind caressed each gentle bough, as much as my rose flushed brow.
By wind untouched were surely none. For one are all and all are one.
From tiny little birds who twitter to the largest, noblest critter.
Rocks and stones were not exempt, nor deathly tree or bush unkempt
each grain of sand, and smaller too, each particle from cosmos drew
their first breath. The dust of stars. For Earth, the moon and even mars
we all but one in synergy. No other thing but energy.
Hence, all are one and one are all. No truer concept could I recall.
Not those of truth and liberty. Not physical relativity.
No religious dogma stood, concepts of evil, concepts of good
concepts lawful, concepts critical, all the false concepts political.
Dawin fell and gawped in awe, the shock apparent on his jaw
and Freud, his face would surely pale when marvelling at the grander scale.
That man, and life, and rock static standing, were part of this ever expanding
amalgam of nought but quintessence. Listen to me, heed the lessons.
We are in broken form exemplary but this state is only temporary.
We are but subjective kernels of a greater being, eternal.
Maternal bodies of sentient stuff, adrift in wasteland harsh and rough
yet, also ever enveloping, to nurture us into developing
forms of greater than afore. There are no rich, there are no poor.
There is no hardship, nor is it slight. We are but dust within the light.
Dust and energy, but all else above. We are dust, energy and love.
That is what sets us apart from fabric, metal, rock or man-made plastic.
All are energetic dust. But they know not of pain, or lust
or joy, or smiles, or interaction, beyond the energetic faction.
We a sentience, growing fatter, they are one as only matter
but all are one and the same. Put it all within one frame
and see a picture so large and wondrous, revelations bold and thunderous
that you will no longer fear, you will no longer seek career
you’ll cease to see the world as was and see it all anew because
Your heart once ruptured with petty worry will become nought but a flurry
of love. Love is our essence, love our being.  Love’s only intent is on freeing.
A love of new. Not the traditional. A love that’s solely unconditional.
A love for all. For all are one. And love, oh! Love our warming sun.
Aye. This was to be, for me, the defining philosophy.
These thoughts, these words, I had not spoke but I must spread them to all folk
and void of greed or vanity I must uplift humanity.
I must jot down or make it heard, each love-fuelled, soulful, joyous word.
But how? Ah, wait. I had a thought. “That tape recorder I had bought!”
A battered, bruised and tired old thing but still with voice to shout and sing
upon it’s reels, sincere not pompous, I would note each word unconscious
for these ideas are not mine, but those of cosmic Valentine.
I only her willing tongue, I seek not to climb any rung
of ladders leading to great heights, there are no glories in my sights
than that of all on equal standing, as it was my understanding
that was how the world was meant. If you thought otherwise, repent.
For you were wrong. This here, a demolition to the notion of competition.
a being ever-present felt, a tight and ever tightening belt
a strangle hold on species lost, a species void of any trust,
A species fed materialistic propaganda so simplistic
but in dogma firm believed. How will folk feel when relieved
of the notion that a fellow sister, brother must compete with one another?
Open arms are what are needed to heal this planet broke and bleeded
and our races, no divisions. No dogmatic superstitions
no more system of compete but merely always others treat
as though one person are the mass, as well as stone, and bird and grass.
I’ll note these beliefs on a tape and leave all folk with mouths agape
For too far gone now, in man’s eyes are all the hypocrites and lies
those for whom the loss is none must sure be truly overcome.

Chapter 8 

Look after you and your own. That is how I think.
The individual pursuit is the essence of this planet
To succeed you need a heart as hard as granite.
There is no room for any missing link.

I, the head of the police detest all illegal.
The law is the law, it is made by men of standing
and the law protects them from demanding
petty dirty peasants. Yes, they are Regal.

And much thanks and respect. For it is they
who feed and shelter my family and friends
and so my body it’s long arm lends
to their way of life, and to accept their pay.

This treasured badge I polish daily and covet.
I am a man of respect, a man of position.
I am a man who protects the tradition.
I am authority and none are above it.

And justice begins when engaged is my firm hand.
I do not tolerate those who in dark lurk
or those who refuse the honest work.
For they are truly the enemies of this land.

So when I am adorned with a uniform and gun
if you have dared to break man’s true law
this mighty lion he shall roar.
Evasion? Good luck! For from us you can’t run.

Loud protest, dissent and all but surrender
are unacceptable. Law so spake.
There can be no give and take.
Justice shall prevail. To gaols I am the sender.

I vow to protect and serve. I am Respect.
I wear this badge and uniform with pride
and feed my kids and love my bride.
It is the least those for peace expect.

Chapter 9 

It is done. I am gone.
I have transferred a great deal
of confidential data to portable devices.
How I shall utilise this
I do not know.
But at last I am free.
My bag, packed lightly with necessity
is upon my shoulder
and to the wilderness of sorrows
I must tread.
I have enough of funds with which
to persuade a kind soul to give me board.
But what of myself then?
I do not know.
My feet shall wander as free as my mind
and I shall, I hope, be invisible
before their all seeing eyes.
If not, perhaps I may, by chance,
escape their clutch due to the nature
of the truths stored within these drives.

Perhaps I, with such information
can enlighten the oppressed.
Perhaps I can inform them of the
cruel fate being decided for them.
They are brothers and sisters.
Men and women.
And they need not be told what to do
for they are creatures of ingenuity,
of guile, of spirit.
They are survivors,
they are adapters.
Why then should they be told
“Do this!”?
They know what to do.
The minority in charge are the ones lost.
They cannot, without the hopelessness
and the harsh submission
of these noble beings,
possibly maintain their lifestyle.
They do not know of doing for oneself.
Only of having one do for you.
They, on acclaimed thrones of Narcissus,
do well to remain seated
without someone to sit for them.
All this, this destitution,
this corruption of Gaia
and all her inhabitants.
And for what?
For money.
What is money?
Money is merely an idea
in the mind of man.
Everything wasted for an idea.
I once questioned on my thoughts.
What would man do to, and for a thought.
This is what man would do for a thought.
Corrupt the elements of life itself.
Fire burns with acrid green smoke.
Water flows dirty brown and vile tasting.
Earth crumbles before our feet.
And air now cancerous.
If money is the root of all evil ,
then we, we are the leaves of its tree.
And never shall it die
until we see the sun,
and change,
and fall.
But fear not the end of days.
We can drop seed.
For any seed to go uncorrupted
by but our will.
And  behemoth of beauty
with bloom so bright
we could grow.

Chapter 10 

The message was there, recorded. Ready to take, head on, that sordid,
corrupt and bile monster whom had taken Earth and made it tomb.
Many days had passed since I, inspired by air and Earth and sky
did that tattered tape fill with words that could be my last will
and testament, but my soul in cheers would be if they fell on the ears
of stoic men with will of steel, and make them cry, and make them feel.
If women oppressed do heed the word and take off like the tuneful bird.
If children, tired, sorry, coy play with those words like long-lost toy.
Oh my heart yearns for the people to grin, and find the truthful joy within.
Not some hollow happiness rend when it is that which men do spend
that causes human cheeks to raise, for true happiness never pays
in dollars and cents or pounds and pence, it pays with such treasure immense
that cash would die before its vision. There’s no contest in head on collision,
For money is wood of a cowardly grain that burns with rapidity in love’s fierce flame.
But with patience I must wait for the time is not now for men to be great.
Too much in fear, to deep in sorrow, too reliant on what they can borrow
from the elite’s thick walled vault. Now is not the time for revolt.
We must be patient and await the hour when in our hands there rests a power
that take the fear from our weak shoulders, and passes it to the power holders.
I say, what’s this my eye spies? He out of grubby window cries.
This gentleman seems of more not less; high of chin and good of dress.
His  head sags not beneath the pressure of hard work in liberal measure.
The clothes he wears not torn and soiled. Has he ever pained or toiled?
But he too, aye, seems troubled plenty, his eyes look cold and dead and empty.
I took to foot and made my way to where this man did lay,
no time had I to ruminate, with him I must communicate.
“I say sir, are you quite alright? I saw from window in dimming light
your figure stood with sombre pose. What man in such good garb goes?”

“Kind sir I am lost.
Not involuntarily but of my own accord.
I have funds.
If you would be so kind
might I exchange
some quantity of them
for board at your lodgings?”

“Do not be silly. No funds I need. I suffer not from want or greed.
Come in, I say, and please relax and worry not of levy or tax.
I do what any person would in spirit of our brotherhood.”

“Most kind you are.
I thank you for your charity. “
I saw this man,
the dirt encrusted on his face
told of labour,
but yet, his eyes.
His eyes seemed glassed with joy.
He emanated comfort and warmth.
Quite what this gentleman had
held in heart to burst with such feeling,
I knew not.
But sure to find out
for man’s curiosity do get the better of him.
I was sure there would be conversation.
What could I say? What could I reveal?
No trust for fellow men anymore.
He could be an informant.
Or he may, in fit of fear,
give me up to the authorities
in the hope of escaping
his accursed life,
and gaining better.
But, sometimes a man has no choice
but to rest his head on the shoulders
of his esteemed brothers in humanity.
I must to rest.
And chat with this kind soul
whose under-wing is as accepting of me
as mother bird’s is of her chick.
Surely a man of such kindness
would never sell I down the river
for his thirty pieces of silver.
Still, I shall enter his house.
I have no other option
at the moment.
His charity I must accept.

Chapter 11

A crime. A travesty. There’s been a huge breach.
Some rotten, dirty, criminal scum
has extracted our data. Ever crumb.
He must learn. A harsh lesson I must teach.

The job must have come surely from inside
for they required access to databases,
full of peoples numbers and faces.
I must make up well for our lost pride.

Extended now have been my powers of force.
Before this data springs a flowing leak .
Before this vile person has chance to speak.
I must catch, and end his wicked course.

I’ll search and ransack every house.
Liberty. Pah! I shall not hear.
nothing to hide, nothing to fear.
My ears are deaf to your petty grouse.

My men are men of honour, in motive right.
No man shall stand against our stride.
We are much in strength and pride.
And for your freedom we must fight.

By imprisoning and questioning without accuse.
Trust us. It is so you stay free.
That we remove your liberty.
What is it you stand to lose?

Chapter 12

His house was cold.
But his demeanour warmed me.
We had not spoken much.
But had offered me a bite
and a hot beverage.
This is accepted graciously
in the name of hospitality.
So sorry a place of living I have not seen.
The bare floors splinter ones feet.
The walls, unpapered, unpainted,
just cold, prison-like concrete.
His place of comfort is a broken old couch.
He has nothing to occupy his brain but thought,
and a few torn old books.
Books that, were the authorities to search
would be burned, and he arrested.
For thought and knowledge are outlawed.
Though not legislated,
it is so.

“I see you give admiring looks to my collection of old books.
have you interest in word written? Have you too by that bug been bitten?”

“Sir, I must confess,
I do not know of books
beyond organised teaching.
I know nothing of words of emotion.
Only those of fact.”

“Then you have, it seems, come from a place where of some means
you must have been, for I elated, would be if I were educated.”

“I fear it is not as you feel.
Indeed I come from means.
I used to serve the government.
But please, tell no one of this.
But the teachings are just as much
bindings on us as taxes
and labour-spheres
are on you.
The teachings merely keep us in our place.”

“Wise words indeed.  You are torn I fear. Talk to me and make it clear.
Why does one from seat on high go wandering into refuse with I?”

“I know of terrible things.
I know of unspeakable things.
Crimes against our fellow man.
Crimes that have no law written unto them
but that are against the law written by life itself.
We are but slaves.
We are but slaves.
There are no chains, yet we are slaves.
And yet, unlike the slaves of old,
they are not required to give us food and board.
But we must instead, ourselves find and provide it.
Yet still we are but slaves.
Freedom is but the illusion.
We are only free to do as they allow.
I could not take it.
The worry, and the guilt.
They consumed me.
To them, all you are, all we are
are numbers.
Whether identification numbers,
bank account numbers,
or the number of funds we have in those accounts.
We are case numbers,
PIN numbers,
account numbers,
I.D. numbers,
Social security Numbers,
license numbers,
passport numbers,
enquiry numbers,
voter numbers,
worker numbers,
payroll numbers.
Just numbers.
But I. I could be a number no more.
I am not a number. I am a man.

“True sir, but one must wonder. What is mankind without a number.
I think a number is becoming, there is no hiding, there is no running.
Mankind should be a number, son. But that number should be ‘one’.”

Who was this prophet?
With whom had I the fortune
to find in times of need?
This seer, with thoughts that mirror mine.

“I agree in whole.
It is my belief that man unbound.
With no chief.
With no leader.
Is man bound by rule of nature
and kindness.”

“Indeed, I believe not in the truthless pith, of war’s friend the competition myth.
For man is bounteous in kindness. Man has only love when hate has blindness.
Man did, with disposition patient, give to others in times of ancient.
In smaller tribes, but one in heart. Then resources tore our world apart.
When they took over, greed controlled and man lost his noble soul.
But what is want? I think you’ll find, a creation of only unsound mind.
It is true, these facts I tell you; there is no concept of value
beyond that contrived in human brain. A thought so selfish and so vain
that it uses itself to make a schism and bind man thus in competition.
But I shall not fight for what I don’t need. I don’t prescribe to thoughts of greed.
While I live. I have enough. There’s no requirement for me to get tough
to try to take more than required. What brutal system we have sired.”

“It is my heart’s wish
to make people see such truths
as you and I speak today.
It is with this wish in mind
that I took from my old employer,
the government,
such data as could overthrow their regime.
Such data that could I hope make the people
rise against them and fight not for money
not for power. But for freedom.”

What was this? My heart outpoured! What divine light on data stored?
I, searching for a reason to rise up and commit treason
found this, this gentle giving prophet. Surely not? oh fates just stop it!
Is this man before my vision here through hollow superstition?
Is he phantom, grim and spectre or is he my truth’s sole protector!?
“I say sir, this treasure my mind does grope for it gives me great, great hope.
I have my tongue now long since bitten. But now I’m dumbstruck through being smitten.
Do you speak truth when you say unto my ears this very day,
that you, arriving here seemingly inconsequential have data so confidential
as to strike fear into the hearts of our Royals? A truth that will bend minds of loyals,
and make them see with vivid truth, that those greed-fuelled lords so aloof
are nothing but a pack of lies. Could this be the day the old way dies?”

“Of what do you speak, sir?
I am confused.
Your passions seem so stirred
yet I know not what word
it was that stirred them.”

“The data, sir. The data there, as sure as sat am I on chair.
That data in your hands is feared, the fates have met and they have steered
you toward I with luck as surplus. That data shall serve a noble purpose
if, I hope, you do allow it. Future’s land is fertile; plough it!
In the hands of they in Ivory towers, that data holds their key to powers
now possessed by man of hands worn. Today the break of our new dawn.
I will, I hope with your permission, utilise that data in my mission
to cause a stir on the horizon. A vast, and powerful uprising
of the working man and women who have struggled too long now, it’s true.
And hope that casting off their shackles silences the evil cackles
of those who drain our wealth for theirs, and crumble us their pompous lairs. “

“You have my permission.
It would be my honour and duty to assist.
It was the purpose for my journey
and whatever luck, or chance or divine fates
brought me to your door
well I thank them.
For this.
To take action. To make a stand.
This shall help relieve me of my guilt.”

“Worry yourself not with guilt child. Nature has a way caring and mild.
One day your hands and imagined blood thereon shall be only mud.
To dust came forth we hence, and unto dust our body is meant.
No inequality shows she our mother. So of guilt, son, do not bother.
Do not trouble with trivial thoughts. All that is shall be as it ought.
Take all the guilt you mention, and quash it, for actions are already your redemption.
Your soul is clean, your conscience clear. Erase all sorry, petty fear
and journey with me towards a new rise. Empower the people and better their lives.
Come friend, for we have plans to make. The future now is ours to take.
Let’s get the wheels of change in movement. Let’s make hence with real improvement. “

From that point
my mind had never known such certainty.
Here we stood,
two men.
One of noted background
but who had revolted.
The other a mere worker-pawn
who had been enlightened.
Here we two, supposedly powerless individuals stood.
And yet we had in our grasp a power so great
it could crumble empires.
We were.
Nothing more.
We existed.
We are.
So we can.
That is the truth about freedom.
A truth that will never be revealed.
You’re only as free as your mind will allow.
The only confines of true freedom
are the edges of our universe.
And I refuse to let man bind me.

Chapter 13

Standing in this dreary downpour of drizzle.
It stings as its cold tears strike our faces.
Smudging our only make-up of dirt and sweat.
There’s nothing in our hearts but dread
as we wait here patiently to be fed
in this damp and damned line where we can get our daily bread.

And what of my kids. My poor, malnourished kids.
There’s no room in our storm drains for their tears.
They feel no hope because there is none.
And yet they must be clothed and raised.
There’s nothing this mother can do. She prays.
For a pasture green and pleasant in which her children graze.

And what of me? I’m elderly. Decrepit. Old.
I cannot stand in this bread line all day.
Not with my legs in this state.
And yet with no support I stand
holding out my weary hand
and hope for charity, in this, MY own land.

What happened to man’s ingenuity, and creation?
What became of man’s adaptability and progress?
What of man’s desire to explore the universe?
Frozen now in slave-bound stasis
with petty cash the only basis
for profitable progress. How much longer can we face this?

How much longer shall our foreheads be burrowed
with the thumbs of those who know no respect?
How long can we bear the scars of oppression?
The people’s anger rises quick
against those men of politick
as our streets lie desolate and bleak, and Earth is sorry-sick.

There is no sustainability. There is no future here.
Not like this. Not on these streets, under this rule.
And yet, we suffer greatly with fear and anxiety.
For theirs are the guns that keep the peace.
Theirs are the prisons and secret police.
Theirs are the ever turning cogs and wheels. We but the grease.

Our sorry tears could fill anew their pools,
their baths and their showers. While they sit
in Ivory Towers behind their wall of oppression.
Drowning out our cries and wails
we stand behind their walls and rails.
No roof, our skin is open to the heaven’s rains and hails.